CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Charlotte, N.C., endured a blast of unusual cold accompanied by snow and freezing rain Friday that turned area roads into skating rinks.
By late Friday, the temperature had been below freezing for 27 hours, WCNC reported. This is in a city that averages one or two days a year when the temperature fails to rise above freezing.
Police reported more than 200 vehicle crashes Friday, The Charlotte Observer reported. At least 22 people were hospitalized, including two with life-threatening injuries, emergency workers said.
Crashes closed a 4-mile stretch of Interstate 40 in Catawba County, northwest of Charlotte, during the afternoon, police said. Sleet was falling in the area.
Much of the east has been cold for several days. In the Philadelphia area, temperatures have been below freezing, dropping into the teens at night.